PortandTerminal.com, July 4, 2019
Royal Marines and Gibraltar seize ship suspected of taking oil to Syria
GIBRALTAR – A detachment of Royal Marines and the authorities in Gibraltar have seized a supertanker suspected of carrying oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions. The vessel is suspected to be in violation of EU sanctions against Syria.
The Panama-flagged very large crude carrier (VLCC) Grace 1 and its cargo were detained by Gibraltar Port and Law Enforcement agencies, assisted by a detachment of the Royal Navy, in the early morning hours of July 4.
The Ministry of Defence said just under 30 Royal Marines from 42 Commando were involved and used for their boarding skills to take control of the vessel at sea. British soldiers were acting under civil authority, the direction of the Gibraltar police, defence sources added.
Marines boarded the ship in the small hours – some landed on the deck of the vessel via Wildcat helicopter and the rest via a speedboat alongside Gibraltar police. The MoD said the incident took place in Gibraltarian territorial waters.
“We have reason to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in Syria,”
“This action arose from information giving the Gibraltar Government reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel, the Grace 1, was acting in breach of European Union sanctions against Syria,” the government of Gilbraltar said in a statement.
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